Parents should be observing what generates positive emotions in their children. We are not talking about a short-lived, seldom-repeated emotion, but emotions that are observed on a regular basis, something that makes your child come alive and fill with positive emotion.
What is it?
In the award-winning movie Chariots of Fire, Eric Lidle, the hero of the movie, has a sister who is trying to make him feel guilty and stop running in the Olympics because of its “eternal futility”, in her opinion. She was a missionary to China, and based on her beliefs, he should have given up running and become a missionary like herself.
In his response to her, he said that when he ran, he experienced a feeling he described as “the pleasure of God.” That description, “pleasure of God” is the best description I have heard to describe this concept of positive emotion. It is the sense that I am doing what I was made to do and that my Maker, my Designer, is looking down and is pleased, just like a parent who observes their child laughing and enjoying life to the fullest. It is the synchronization of living what I was designed to do. It is the unlocking of my DNA Code!
- Where do you believe you have seen your child experiencing the “pleasure of God?”
- What were they doing?
- How do you think they would describe that feeling?
Positive Psychology is an exciting development in psychology. It has been described as the “science of happiness.” The question that Positive Psychology attempts to answer is, “What generates those emotions we define as happiness?” What are those attitudes, activities, connections, and behaviors that produce positive emotion? Positive Psychology studies people who have defined, positive character qualities. It looks at issues such as how much money is enough to make people happy? What produces optimism that enables people to deal with the tough issues of Life? How do we produce gratitude?
How we approach the issue is similar to the way the Gallup StrengthsFinder does. The StrengthsFinder 2.0 is a test that helps you identify your hardwired Talents. The belief is that discovering your Talents is the pathway to living a happier, more fulfilled Life.
Does your child have the opportunity to do what they do best each day?
When people are able to do what they do best each day and for a good portion of the day, they are generally happy and fulfilled. That is common sense. Do what you love, love what you do, and the world makes sense.
In part 3 of “Positive Emotion” I will share a beautiful story of how we can use our Talent DNA to get us through the most daunting, gut wrenching and toughest of situations.